Balalaikas illegal in America?!

9/09/2013 05:08:00 PM

So, recently I was at Perchini with some friends and we started talking about Snowden and the animosity from the U.S. towards Russia right now. During this conversation, one of the things that came up was that Obama banned the sale of balalaikas in the U.S.
For those of you that don't know, this is a Balalaika.



First, "What is a balalaika?" A balalaika is a stringed musical instrument with a characteristic triangular body and three strings, that looks similar to a guitar used in Russian folk music. It dates back to 1688 AD. The balalaika comes in many different sizes ranging from piccolo to contrabass. Over time the Balalaika has become an unofficial symbol of Russia.

So, after hearing about how this instrument whose roots and image are strongly tied to Russia, I thought it was ridiculous to ban it without good reason. Refusing to believe that the gov't would ban the sale of an instrument just because... ("Because fu** you! That's why!" - Gov't). I thought it would be an extremely silly move politically, so I decided to research it. Here's what I found out... 

  • Obama banned the balalaika until 2020, but he did this in 2010, and it was an extension on an already existing ban. The ban is renewed regularly. 
  • The original ban was stated in 1940. Why? Well, because... 
  • The Soviet Union banned the balalaika first, along with the Russian Orthodox Church, because it “allows you to mock the authorities.” 
  • Today the ban remains, but it's a little different. To play the balalaika is not illegal, but you do need a special license and bulk sales of the instrument are not allowed. Making your own is OK (selling it also) 

So, my friend was right, in a sense. I'm sure he heard it from someone as a rumor or something, but I'm certain there are some people out there thinking that Obama hates Russia so much he banned the Balalaika. So, I hope this post helped clarify the reason behind the whole thing.

'Til next time!

You Might Also Like

6 comments

  1. Ok, there are spoons also. U know, we can play any instrument: saw, washboard, some parts of enemys bodies. U can not ban all of those stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi! I found this post by Google. Now I have to admit that the "Balalaika
    ban" was a fake message from me. One day 3 years ago I wrote that article
    for my blog. It was just a joke. As you probably know, the US has extremely
    stupid government. That is why regular people easily believe in this fake.
    Looks like very American political style. My article became popular in
    blogs, then it appeared in some newspapers.
    This is what I wanted to say.
    Greetings from Russian guy from South Carolina.

    Yuri Shymanovsky

    ReplyDelete
  3. You can find the source of the fake right here http://pan-szymanowski.livejournal.com/818061.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Soviet Union banned the balalaika first, along with the Russian Orthodox Church, because it “allows you to mock the authorities.”

    It was before Soviet Union. During the Soviet Union balalayka was legal.
    in 18th century balalaika was banned in Russia by the church and also by the government, since the instrument was used to mock the church and government by some people who would sing along with it anti-religious or anti-government folk songs

    ReplyDelete
  5. Soviet Union never had any ban on balalaika. Russian Empire had it. Soviets lifted it out.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The Soviet Union banned the balalaika first, along with the Russian Orthodox Church, because it “allows you to mock the authorities.”

    This is a lie. In the Soviet Union balalaikas were totally legal, sold and played, and taught in musical schools.

    ReplyDelete